When the firefighters are called out to deal with an accident, things have to happen quickly – especially when an electric vehicle is involved. Hesitant, unsafe rescue teams or incorrectly used means can put the people involved in the accident and also the rescuers themselves in danger. Therefore, firefighters should now get fit in handling electrified vehicles – for example with training at ZF Aftermarket.

In principle, electric vehicles are no less safe than conventional vehicles. Their lithium-ion batteries are extremely well protected and can only be mechanically damaged in serious accidents. And yet: Damaged or burning electric vehicles do happen, and the number of such cases may also grow strongly in the coming years in view of the rapidly increasing spread of alternative drive systems. Fire fighters must prepare for this. At the scene of an emergency, rescue forces can be confronted with various scenarios, for example:

  • Vehicles involved in an accident where the automatic safety devices of the high-voltage system are damaged or have failed completely
  • Vehicles in which the high-voltage components or the entire vehicle has caught fire.

In close co-operation with firefighters and fire service consultants, ZF’s Aftermarket organization was the first automotive supplier to develop a special e-mobility training for firefighters. “As the leading company for automotive safety and the integration of components for electric drive, ZF developed the vision of a world without accidents and without emissions. With our new training for fire fighting services, we are devoting all our attention not only to protecting human lives but also to improving safety awareness in the event of an accident,” explains Marco Neubold, Head of Domain Service ZF Aftermarket.

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The training enables emergency services to recognize these vehicles, assess the particular danger situation and derive the right tactics for rescuing the occupants. If the rescue services know immediately what to do when they arrive at the scene of the emergency – for example, first carry out an emergency shutdown of the high-voltage system or cool a damaged high-voltage system with water so that it does not suffer a “thermal runaway” – then the measures for rescuing the occupants can start more quickly.

The training course is aimed at emergency response managers, platoon, and group leaders, who can thus gain confidence in defining operational tactics and prepare their comrades for the new challenges. Interested firefighters can arrange training dates and the training location individually. The training lasts one day. Through exercises on vehicles, the participants test what they have learned directly in practice. The cost of the training is 310 euros per person.

Registration for the training is now possible via the ZF Aftermarket Portal. From January 2021, the e-mobility training will also be included in the WABCO Academy catalog and can then be booked additionally via the WABCO Academy webpage . See more impressions of the training in the following video: https://youtu.be/xbUfTU7ahEI